Monday, June 13, 2011

Discover Inventor Joseph Lee and the Automatic Bread Machine

Inventor Joseph Lee
I love learning and was thrilled to review the following book about an African American, former slave and inventor Joseph Lee. I hope you take the opportunity to read the book and to join us for our podcast interview with author Jerome T. Peoples on Friday June 17, 2011 for the Writers In The Sky Podcast.

Book Title: Lee’s Bread Machines
Author: Jerome T. Peoples, MS, ED
ISBN: 978-1432763374
Publisher: Outskirts Press

Many of us are familiar with George Washington Carver and possibly one of the other great African American and former slave inventors that have had a lasting impact on the industrial revolution and life in America today. Most of us, however, will never have heard of Joseph Lee, the inventor of the automatic bread making machine that revolutionized the bread industry. This former slave over came incredible hardship to rise (pardon the pun,) above adversity to have a significant impact on modern day America. The impact of his inventions, the first bread machine, then the bread crumber, changed the slice of bread on America’s table by allowing bakeries and restaurants to produce bread loves more efficiently and in greater numbers than ever before. Why without Joseph Lee there wouldn’t be a bread industry as we know it. And yet, in spite of the impact this man’s incredible inventions have had on us, hardly any information has been available about his life and accomplishments until now.

Much credit is due to retired science teacher turned author, Jerome T. Peoples MS. Ed., who researched and wrote Lee’s Bread Machines as an educational and inspirational tribute to this minority hero. With chapters covering : the African origin of bread, the life of house slaves, secret schools, the Civil War, Joseph Lee’s move to the north, his journey to greatness as an entrepreneur in the restaurant business, and especially his work as an inventor, this book is a treasure of information.

The book has school primer feel, but the layout makes for easy reading and information retention. Every child should have access to this book in school libraries and the knowledge of this American inventor should be included in school curriculum. Joseph Lee belongs to all of us, but his history as a former slave opens a door for further exploration of social history that could really capture and ignite the hunger for knowledge in students. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about Joseph Lee, his life and his inventions. I hope that others will read and be as deeply moved as I was by the example set by this African American inventor who rose from slavery to find freedom, enterprise, and lasting significance through the power of creativity and invention.

I recommend this book for youths and for general informational reading. The content is well documented and presents interesting images and records that will educate as well as fascinate most readers.

Grade A work Mr. Peoples!

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